It is rare that opera finds its way into my life as much as I enjoy certain composers of opera and their works. However a colleagues recently shared with me a new opera, “The Convert” which is available to view by clicking the ‘play’ button on the top right of this link. As with all operas I recommend turning the subtitles on.
The reason this opera grabbed my eye, is that I am familiar with the story, as introduced to me by Stefan Hartman’s book by the same name. “The Convert” is based around the all-to-real story of a letter, written in 1096 by Rabbi Joshua Obadiah. The book dramatises the woes of a convert to Judaism whose children are the cost of the sectarian violence of the First Crusades. The letter, in legible Hebrew, can be found here.
At least in this case, I find I like books more than opera. In any format, the story of “The Convert” tells of devotion to the Jewish people and the necessity of both family and the kindness of strangers to assist us on our journeys.
It has been a while since I have written of our friend Rabbi Misha in Bratislava, and I am sure many of us are worn out by the announcement at every service- however I know the work he is doing is ongoing. If you would like to support it, please contact the synagogue office.
Additionally, please find the article below about Care4Calais, happening right here at SWESRS, and be proud that we are able to help others along their journeys to safety.